First-ever joint training of the French and Japanese air forces

The Japan Ministry of Defence had recently announced that the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) and the French Air and Space Force (FASF) are going to conduct bilateral live-fly exercise in the Japan airspace. The exercise will begin on 26th July and will be the first joint training in history of the air forces of both countries.

According to the official statement of the Japan MoD, the joint training is aimed to improve JASDF tactical skills and promote mutual understanding, as well as to tighten further defence cooperation to realize a ´Free and Open Indo-Pacific´.

The current exercise is a part of new Japan policy that includes greater commitment of European partners to security in the Indo-Pacific region. Last year, the German Air Force was the first to deploy there its Eurofighter jets from 74th Tactical Air Wing. Apart from joint trainings with the JASDF, the ´Bavarian Tigers´ participated also in Pitch Black 2022, an Australian-led multinational aviation exercise held in Northern Territory.

F-15J of the Japan Self Defence Air Force (photo: © JASDF)

The JASDF units and equipment assigned to that bilateral exercise includes: three F-15 Eagle aircraft from the 5th Air Wing, two Mitsubishi F-2 jets from the 8th Air Wing, a KC-767 air tanker from the 1st Tactical Airlift Group, a Kawasaki C-2 airlifter from the 2nd Tactical Airlift Group, as well as Central and West Aircraft Control and Warning Wings.

The Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace will deploy to Japan two Rafale fighters from the 4th Air Wing, as well as an A330 MRTT air tanker and an A400M Atlas airlifter.

Aircraft participating in the exercise will be based at Nyutabaru Air Base. The training flights will be conducted in the airspace near the base and in Kanto region.

The first-ever joint Japanese-French air force exercise will conclude on 29th July.

F-2A of the Japan Air Self Defence Force (photo: © JASDF)

Photo 1 and 2 – © official JASDF website. Information from Japan Ministry of Defence press releases were used.